Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Is The DCCC Capable Of Capitalizing On Americans' Disapproval Of Trump And The GOP?

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Lamar and Darrell, 2 top targets for 2018

Hillary's electoral strategy may not have done well in working class areas of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin and Michigan-- where she lost the election-- but it had a great deal of appeal in upper-income, moderate, white suburbs that always go Republican, like in Orange County, California, which she won, although didn't need and didn't bring her a single extra electoral college vote. She did WAY better than Obama in the usually-Republican northern suburbs around Atlanta... but that didn't bring her any extra electoral votes either. And in Texas-- mamma mia!-- Hillary won the Republican suburbs around Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. Look at Ft Bend County southwest of Houston.Romney beat Obama there, 116,028 (53%) to 101,043 (46%) in 2012. Hillary turned that around big time. She beat Trump 134,475 (51.6%) to 117,212 (45.0%). Amazing, huh? It didn't do her lick of good but... amazing. And she did great in Bexar County too, which includes both San Antonio and it's suburbs. She beat Trump 319,191 (54.5%) to 240,161 (41.0%), far better than Obama's 2012 performance when he won Bexar 263,871 (52%) to Romney's 240,519 (47%).

As you can see from those Bexar numbers, Trump essentially won the same 240,000 Republicans in the wealthier San Antonio areas that Romney won, while Hillary's messaging increased her vote over Obama's by over 50,000 votes. It didn't do her a bit of good, of course, and it was the same thing in the suburbs south of Austin. Travis county contains both Austin-- heavily Democratic-- and it's suburbs, which are more swingy. Obama won Travis County handily-- 231,540 (60%) to Romney's 139,503 (36%) but look at Hillary's numbers there: 306,475 (66.3%) to Trump's 126,750 (27.4%). Again, Hillary picked up tens of thousands of votes in the Austin suburbs over what Obama had managed. Too bad her "moderate" messaging was totally wasted, bringing her pyrrhic victories in places where she didn't need the votes and losing her votes in places where she desperately needed them-- and where Trump won the election. That's the Third Way way!

Caveat: the table is set for Texas Democrats to start winning again. Hillary's numbers in John Culbertson's Houston area district and Lamar Smith's San Antonio/Austin area district indicate that serious well-financed Democrats will win back both those seats in 2018 or 2020. This cycle urge DCCC stubbiornly ignored both districts of course. Culberson's opponent, James Cargas had no institutional support in TX-07 and didn't run a serious campaign-- spent only $61,854 to Culberson's $1,142,775 and took 111,774 votes (43.8%) to Culberson's 143,369 (56.2%). TX-21 was similar. Lamar Smith faced a well-run grassroots campaign by Berniecrat Tom Wakely. Wakely had no institutional Democratic support whatsoever, nor, alas, any from national Berniecrats. He spent $62,313 to Lamar Smith's $1,703,546. (Even though the deaf, dumb and blind DCCC didn't, Smith realized he was facing a serious challenge and, for the first time ever, spent almost $200,000 more than he raised! The DCCC refused to spend a nickel in a district where Hillary was appealing to moderate voters and the only outside help Wakely got was from Blue America ($13,950) and Climate Hawks Vote ($4,847). He did better than any other Democrat had ever done against Smith, but there's only so much you can do against that kind of financial disparity-- and lack of support from one's own barely-alive party.

And going forward? If the Democrats ever want to take back the House, maybe they should get out of their comfort zone and start looking more seriously at districts where the DCCC didn't even compete-- from Orange County, CA to TX-07 and TX-21 to GA-06 north of Atlanta. Americans have gotten a look at Trump since November 8-- and they don't like what they see, not at all. His approval ratings are shockingly low.
President Donald Trump is the first elected president in Gallup's polling history to receive an initial job approval rating below the majority level. He starts his term in office with 45% of Americans approving of the way he is handling his new job, 45% disapproving and 10% yet to form an opinion. Trump now holds the record for the lowest initial job approval rating as well as the highest initial disapproval rating in Gallup surveys dating back to Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Trump's inaugural approval rating is not much lower than the 51% recorded for George H.W. Bush in 1989 as well as for Ronald Reagan in 1981, but his disapproval rating is substantially higher than theirs. Whereas 45% disapprove of Trump, only 6% disapproved of the elder Bush and 13% disapproved of Reagan.

College graduates-- and there are plenty in Lamar Smith's and John Culberson's Texas districts-- disapprove of Trump at much higher levels than most groups. Only 37% of college graduates approve of Trump so far; 57% disapprove. Even before Ryan and the House Republicans have overreached in ways expected to turn the country even more vehemently against the GOP, Trump loyalists in Congress-- like Lamar Smith-- are trying to defend him. Smith, the Science-denying chairman of the House Science Committee who LOVES, LOVES, LOVES the idea of "alternative facts," was on the House floor Monday night babbling his nonsense about Trumpanzee: "He is off to a fast start. His Cabinet consists of smart, experienced and successful individuals. He already has taken steps to keep jobs in America, put unnecessary regulations on hold and improve healthcare. Consumer confidence is at a 16-year-high. No, the national liberal media won’t print that or air it or post it. Better to get your news directly from the president. In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth."

Goal Thermometer You'd think the DCCC would be frothing at the mouth to encourage a good opponent for Smith for 2018. They're not. No one-- at least no one that we know of-- other than Blue America, is even looking for someone to run against him-- against him, against Culberson in the Houston area, against Rohrabacher and Royce in the suburbs south of L.A. where Hillary did so well and Trump ate dirt and against dozens of other Republicans in districts that DCCC has acclimated themselves to not contesting. This has to stop. Pelosi reappointed a visionless hack, Ben Ray Lujan to head the DCCC, so it would be a miracle to expect any change from that quarter. Can Ellison make a difference if he takes over the DNC? Maybe. Meanwhile, grassroots activism is essential now for 2018. It's the only thing that can turn things around-- despite the DCCC-- for the congressional Democratic candidates who will be in position to slow down nd stop Trump in two years.

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10 Comments:

At 4:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You need to recalibrate your thinking. You approach the question as if the DCCC wanted to win the house back.
They might. But they want to win it back **ONLY** if they can do it with THEIR candidates -- the ones who won't fuck with the corporate and billionaire donors and their issues and projects.

If they have to pay for true liberals/progressives who will want things like real finance reform/regulation; peace; higher taxes on the rich and corporations; real spending on real infrastructure; health care for all; SSI; Medicare; Medicaid; reasonable immigration reform; ...renewfuckingable energy..., if they win or lose WITH these guys... they'd rather rule in hell than serve in heaven... if you get me.

The fact that you and most other well-intentioned writers still presume the Democraps to be just a bunch of hapless liberals who couldn't shoot straight is a big reason that an awful (literally) lot of voters, who seem to follow like rats after the pied piper, still vote for the shit candidates the DCCC has shat each cycle.

It would be useful for you to call the DCCC what it is: the utterly corrupt power structure that has usurped the party of FDR and JFK from the people they used to serve. From that perspective, this piece has a much different tone.

 
At 4:56 PM, Blogger CNYOrange said...

What are the odds of getting Wakely to run again, he'll probably beat smith in '18

 
At 8:06 PM, Anonymous Sue said...

I agree with anonymous above.
Not only do they fail at recruitment, they actively sabotage liberal challengers.

 
At 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They don't fail at recruitment. they are wildly successful at recruiting exactly who they (and the money) want.

And that's the change in thinking we all need to adopt.

 
At 9:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your work, DWT!

3 typos jumped out at me in para # 3

This cycle urge DCCC stubbiornly ignored both districts

Lamar Smith faced...Berniecrat Tom Wakely. Wackily had

and Climate Hawks Vote ($4,847). He did better than any other Democrat had ever done against Smith, but there's on;y

 
At 3:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd suggest you change the premise of the titles of the articles on this topic.

For your crew of regular commenters, certainly these titles have been a yoo...oooge excuse for honing one's snarkery (analogous to fuckery, below.)

However, by merely inferring that the DCCC may be capable, you are going to drive away new readers of the very sort you need to collect and unite. There ARE a lot of alternatives to consider, so it is not optimal to assume the people you want to reach are any less web-fickle than any other group.

The titles should go something like "It's up to US to do the work the DCCC has proven it cannot or will not do."

John Puma

 
At 5:06 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Much of the above makes sense. However, let's be real.

At this point the Democratic party is what we have to work with...if anyone thinks a third party would win big in national elections, forget it. The only vague chance of this down the road would be if there were an extreme meltdown financially and globally and/or war on steroids that involves a draft so people would give a damn. Let's hope neither happens. Right now in reality we are left with the Dems, unfortunate at this may be. We must work with the Dems if we have any shot in hell of putting things back into some balance and rationality.

 
At 8:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hone, that is the kind of intellectual surrender and rationalization that guarantees that nothing will ever change.

I know it will be difficult, but it HAS TO BE DONE.

The craps desire to keep their position at the table, even if it's the kiddie table at present, over any desire to win (back) voters by representing their interests.

For the craps the two are mutually exclusive. If they rep the 99.99% to win back voters, they lose BILLIONS in donations. If they keep their donors happy, they'll never rep anyone below the .01%.

And, veeeeery GRADUALLY, more and more nonevil voters are figuring this out. So while the craps keep their gravy train moving, they lose more wagons each year.

Your intellectual surrender/ rationalization means your "team" becomes a smaller and smaller minority which $hills, whether cleverly or not, more and more for their donors and less and less for you and me.

Witness Elizabeth Warren's confirmation votes for this worst, most evil ever cabinet. And she's supposed to be one of the good ones!

 
At 8:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 8:08 AM:

Go fuck yourself with your demexit crap. Your way is suicide. Get the fuck on out of here with that shit. It's all you ever have to offer. I'm beginning to think you're a Trump mole.

 
At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:26, your way is abject suicide. My way at least has hope of a remedy some day.

Again, in order to solve a problem, one has to understand the problem.

 

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